Key Thinkers Review

The journal Forum for Modern Language Studies has a nice short review of my co-edited book Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. This is encouraging at a time when work on its sibling volume, Key Ideas is underway. Here’s the review, which appears in Forum for Modern Language Studies 2007 43(1):102-103:

Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Ed. Siobhan Chapman & Christopher Routledge. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. xii + 282 pp. £55 (hardback); £16.99 (paperback). ISBN 0–7486–1757–4/1758–2

Eighty key thinkers in linguistics and the philosophy of language are each presented concisely and clearly here in articles penned by some thirty distinguished international scholars. The articles aim to give an overview and a closer analysis of one or more aspects of the individual’s work, not necessarily repeating perhaps well-known facts but endeavouring to cast new light on relevant facets and bring out the development of ideas. The articles enthuse, promote further interest, and are particularly handy in this relatively small volume. Thinkers featured include Aristotle, Bakhtin, Benveniste, Boas, Chomsky, Descartes, Firth, Greenberg, Halliday, Hockett, Humboldt, Kristeva, Labov, Martinet, Marx, Milroy, Peirce, Piaget, Popper, Quine, Sapir, Saussure, Skinner, Strawson, Trubetzkoy, Whorf and Wittgenstein, and the whole is concluded by an Index, enabling cross-reference and further investigation. Each article has in addition a list of Primary Works and of suggested Further Reading. One might, needless to say, think of other thinkers who deserve inclusion – R. M. W. Dixon, to mention one –, but the essential value of this considerable volume remains secure.